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Best Magnetic Rowing Machines

Looking for a near-silent indoor rowing experience? If so, a magnetic rowing machine is your best bet. As well being suitable for most households due to their quiet operation, magnetic indoor rowers will also work for every budget. You can now find magnetic rowing machines in nearly every price range. A big difference in price is seen when you bump up from a residential model to a more durable commercial-grade rowing machine. In general, magnetic rowing machines are distinguished by their friction-free resistance. Their design operates almost silently, which many users prefer over the gentle splashing of water rowers or the humming of air rowers. If you’re on a budget, you may also be browsing hydraulic indoor rowers. Just keep in mind that magnetic rowers tend to be much more durable than hydraulic rowing machines. Their stroke cycles are also more true to life compared with those of hydraulic machines. Check out our top 3 magnetic rowing machines on the market below, and scroll down to learn more about rowers in this category.

Best Overall

Hydrow Rower

Rating: 94%

Our Top Magnetic Rowing Machines

Model

Rating

Resistance Type

Weight Capacity

Folding

Resistance Levels

Pricing

Reviews

Interactive Training Hydrow Rowing Machine
Hydrow Rower
94%

Magnetic

375 Lbs

Optional

300

Loaded With Features horizon oxford 6 rower
Horizon Oxford 6 Rower
86%

Magnets

350 Lbs

Yes

20

Great Build Quality NordicTrack RW900 Rower
NordicTrack RW 900
91%

Magnets

250 Lbs

No

26

Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower
Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower
78%

Magnets

275 Lbs

Yes

N/a

Magnetic Rowers—What To Expect

Magnetic rowers are known and loved for their virtually silent operation. If you’re looking for a rower to use after hours but are worried about disturbing your household, a magnetic rowing machine could be your perfect match. Aside from near-silent operation, you can expect a smooth, consistent rowing stroke. You can also precisely control the resistance via working your way up through the various magnetic levels. What’s more, a magnetic rowing machine won’t need much (if any) maintenance. However, magnetic rowing machines aren’t the best at delivering a true rowing feel. Air and water resistance rowing machines are more complex to build, and are known for their more fluid and realistic feel.

 

How Do Magnetic Rowers Work?

With old-fashioned rowers, the flywheel is stopped with physical force. This can be noisy and wears components down over time. In contrast, magnetic rowers control their flywheels with electromagnets. These are placed near the flywheel, but do not actually make physical contact.

 

How Powerful Is The Resistance?

The resistance on magnetic rowers is preset from light to heavier levels. It can be controlled manually by a dial or electronically via the machine’s console. In some cases, it can be adjusted by special control buttons on the rowing handlebar. On a cheap rowing machine a rider might choose from five resistance levels. On a better model they might choose from 20 resistance levels. In contrast, many water rowers and air rowers do not have preset levels. They adapt to user effort instead. Overall, resistance varies by model. Our magnetic rowing machine reviews consider consumer comments about whether a rower is too easy to use, too difficult, or just right.

 

Which Magnetic Rowers Are Best?

Our favorite magnetic rowing machine is the Coach E by Kettler. It has the best combination of ratings for durability, programming, price and more. In terms of low budget magnetic rowing machines, Stamina leads the industry. NordicTrack adds interactive training into the mix without a huge jump in price. So this is a brand to consider if you want workout guidance or you struggle to stay motivated. With their rowers, you can access video trainers who control the resistance of your rower to push you through your workouts. We’ve also given favorable reviews to hybrid rowers from Stamina, LifeCore, Sole and other brands. To keep operation quiet, these models use air resistance for low resistance levels and magnets for the more challenging levels.

Pros

Precise Control
Virtually Silent
Little Maintenance

Cons

Not Realistic
Lower Weight Capacity
Durability

1. Hydrow Rower

Dubbed the Peloton of rowers, the Hydrow is at the pinnacle of indoor magnetic rowers, as it delivers a high quality machine paired with a 22″ HD touchscreen display and streaming training sessions. Interestingly, and contrary to the Peloton model, you can still use the Hydrow in ‘Just Row’ mode without a subscription, which provides all of your metrics on-screen. That said, the subscription service provided is one of this machine’s key selling features.

Read the Full Hydrow Rower Review

Pros

Great Design
Streaming Training
Commercial Grade components

Cons

Expensive

2. Horizon Oxford 6 Rower

Now the brand’s top of the line rowing machine, the Horizon Oxford 6 Rower is very closely priced to the Oxford3, but with some fairly significant upgrades that more than justify the $150 price difference ($899 vs. $749 when both are on sale). It uses the same magnetic resistance setup as its counterpart, though with double the number of resistance level settings (20 compared to 10). This magnetic resistance is controlled electronically rather manually, though the physical adjustment is still done via a knob located below the console and handlebar. As we also mention in our review of the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower, the use of magnetic resistance coupled with its high-strength nylon drive belt make both of these new Oxford rowers very quiet overall. This is a great perk for those who live in apartments or shared households where you don’t want to disrupt your family, roommates or neighbors.

Read the Full Horizon Oxford 6 Rower Review

Pros

Resistance Levels
Preset Workouts
Quiet

Cons

Basic Console

3. NordicTrack RW 900

Equipped with a 22″ rotating smart HD touchscreen, 26 levels of resistance, and iFit-compatibility, the NordicTrack RW900 brings a top-flight product to the home gym. Designed with an inertia-enhanced flywheel and Silent Magnetic Resistance, the rower measures 86.5″ x 22.0″ x 50.4″ and sports Bluetooth Headphone connectivity, along with an auxiliary music port and two 2″ digitally amplified speakers. Purchase includes a 30-day membership with iFit, and the rower also comes with 30 on-board workouts.

Read the Full NordicTrack RW 900 Review

Pros

iFit-enabled
Bluetooth-enabled
26 levels SMR

Cons

Doesn't fold
Weight Limit

4. Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower

At $699, the Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower is an affordable rowing machine that delivers great cardio workouts at home. Customer reviews are very positive, citing the machine’s easy assembly and quiet operation. It’s built with extruded aluminum that looks good and holds up well. The rower uses quiet magnetic resistance controlled electronically with buttons on the console. As well as featuring a selection of preset workout programs, the console allows you to wirelessly monitor your heart rate (chest strap included) and displays all your essential exercise data. At 81” long by 20” wide, it’s a medium-sized rower, but it can be folded for storage if space is a concern for you.

Read the Full Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower Review

Pros

Quiet & Powerful Resistance
Monitor
Easy Folding

Cons

Uncomfortable Seat
Weight Capacity
Quality Control
 
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